Public Health Competencies

Master of Public Health (MPH)

BUSPH graduates bring a well-rounded, evidence-based approach to addressing public health problems. They will be prepared to work in a wide array of settings and understand the interplay of the biological, social, economic, cultural, political, behavioral, and environmental factors that affect health or populations. They critically analyze public health literature, create innovative solutions to problems in collaboration with others, evaluate program effectiveness, and present their views clearly to a range of audiences, both verbally and in writing.

Upon completion of the MPH degree requirements, graduates are able to:

Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health

  • Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy, or practice

Public Health & Health Care Systems

  • Compare the organization, structure, and function of health care, public health, and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  • Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities, and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community, and societal levels

Planning & Management to Promote Health

  • Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities’ health
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project, or intervention
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs

Policy in Public Health

  • Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  • Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity

Leadership

  • Apply principles of leadership, governance, and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration, and guiding decision making
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges

Communication

  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  • Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content

Interprofessional Practice

  • Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

Systems Thinking

  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Additional Competencies

Functional Area Certificates

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Plan and conduct systematic community health needs assessments, integrating multiple sources of data and community and stakeholder input.
  • Synthesize the published evidence base with information identified through community needs assessment to create a comprehensive public health intervention plan which responds appropriately and effectively to key identified priorities.
  • Formulate an implementation and sustainability plan designed to engage community members, policy makers, practitioners, funders, and researchers.
  • Design a program evaluation, including formative, process, and impact evaluation, and be able to articulate a plan for evaluation using a standard logic model.
  • Apply strategies for equitable, collaborative partnerships with communities, based on common recognition of sources of structured social privilege and disadvantage and a shared goal of seeking to expand community assets and power to improve health outcomes.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate relative strengths and weaknesses of various study designs to address a specific public health research question.
  • Identify methodological and practical issues involved with planning and implementing a public health research study, including issues relating to the responsible conduct of research and the protection of human subjects.
  • Access and analyze publicly available public health data sets, such as the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
  • Identify, conduct, and interpret an appropriate statistical analysis for a given public health research question and study design.
  • Interpret and communicate the results, strengths, and limitations of a public health research article in both technical and non-technical terms.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Collect and analyze environmental data and articulate the characteristics of major chemical, physical, and biological hazards.
  • Interpret measured or modeled concentrations or doses of hazards compared with risk-based and non-risk-based criteria and guidelines.
  • Evaluate the influence of susceptibility based on the hazards’ biological mode of action, and vulnerability on health risks for major environmental determinants of human disease.
  • Identify defensible intervention and prevention strategies to improve health through reduction in exposures to environmental hazards.
  • Critically assess articles related to environmental impacts on health, analyzing the strength and validity of the hypothesis, study design and methods, results, conclusions, and public health significance of primary research studies.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Calculate and apply appropriate epidemiologic and statistical measures to draw valid inferences and summaries from public health data.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic and statistical reports from public health studies.
  • Analyze key sources of public health data, reflecting comprehension of the basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, analysis, and dissemination of epidemiologic and public health information.
  • Synthesize the results of epidemiologic and statistical analyses to craft relevant public health messages in written and oral presentations for both public health professionals and external audiences.
  • Demonstrate the application of epidemiology and biostatistics for informing etiologic research, planning and evaluation of interventions, public health surveillance, or health policy.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate health policy issues at multiple levels of government (local, state, and national) both domestically and globally, with special attention to political, social, economic, and organizational factors
  • Appraise and defend the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of health policies.
  • Develop policy proposals that recognize legal and political constraints.
  • Determine the factors influencing successful policy implementation.
  • Articulate and justify policy and legal analysis to diverse audiences through written and/or oral deliverables.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Design a strategic plan for an intervention and communications strategy that is theory-driven, science-based, audience-centered, practicable, and evaluable.
  • Apply a range of appropriate communication venues to support public health goals based on analysis and evaluation of alternative venues.
  • Create effective materials and messages using strategies and tools tailored to diverse audiences, including those with lower health literacy.
  • Develop an evaluation plan for a communication strategy.
  • Demonstrate professional oral presentation skills to inform and persuade diverse audiences.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

Health Care System Analysis

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the forces and factors that have shaped and are driving health care systems.
  • Analyze the structures, processes and outcomes observed in the organization, function, delivery, and financing of health services in the U.S.
  • Compare the organization, delivery, and financing of the U.S. healthcare system to systems in other nations in order to identify and explore alternative approaches.
  • Apply economic and financial analysis to understand causes of high costs associated with the delivery of health care services in the U.S.
  • Analyze strategic alternatives using policy, market, and organizational analyses to develop forward- looking recommendations.

Health Policy Analysis

  • Understand how health policy is developed, and understand how to influence the policy-making.
  • Assess how healthcare is allocated and provided; analyze how these factors influence changes in health policy.
  • Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of current policies in the U.S.; understand the factors influencing successful policy implementation.

Improvement and Implementation

  • Translate visions and strategies into specific goals and implementation plans with deliverables, timelines, and budgets.
  • Apply planning/management tools and techniques to achieve successful project completion.
  • Apply operations and financial data to pursue value-based approaches to care.
  • Critically appraise and synthesize health care quality data to use in pursuit of quality improvement.
  • Identify roles and applications of health information systems in managing health care delivery, financing, and quality assessment.

Leadership

  • Collaborate in teams to set clear goals and expectations, assess the contributions of others, and provide clear developmental feedback.
  • Improve one’s own performance based on feedback from others.
  • Communicate mission, vision, goals, and recommended courses of action.
  • Apply problem-solving and negotiation principles to understand conflicts in interpersonal, organizational, and political contexts, and develop viable solutions.
  • Analyze organizational dynamics and relationships in order to improve organizational processes.
  • Apply change management principles at the individual and organizational levels to advance the organization’s mission and goals.

Professionalism

  • Persuasively and clearly communicate in formal and informal situations, using technology to support the presentation of ideas and data.
  • Prepare well-written communications in a clear, logical, effective, and grammatical manner in a variety of formats (e-mails, policy briefs, memos, research papers).
  • Develop strategies for exploring career options and accurately seeing own strengths and development needs; establish and sustain professional networks.
  • Apply ethical guidelines for sound professional practice.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Design monitoring and evaluation plans for public health programs.
  • Articulate the purpose of formative, process, and outcome evaluations.
  • Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods in relation to their strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, with an emphasis on reliability and validity.
  • Apply analytic methods to evaluate the impacts and costs of public health programs and policies.
  • Support the use of data from monitoring and evaluation projects in informing evidence-based decision- making for the development of new programs and continuous quality improvement efforts.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Supervise and support program staff to ensure activities are aligned with overarching goals and on track to meet specific objectives.
  • Demonstrate skills in budget management including, projecting costs, providing justifications, managing and containing costs, and implementing transparent financial management systems.
  • Create monitoring plans to assess leadership and employee accountability, and review plans for management of projects, stakeholders, and suppliers.
  • Analyze program outcomes to identify the needed changes and ensure that monitoring systems are in place to enable program evaluation.
  • Propose solutions to a variety of program challenges related to human resources, information technology, operating procedures, monitoring and evaluation, and quality improvement.

Context Area Certificates

Chronic diseases—such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, asthma, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease—are responsible for a large majority of the deaths in the United States and a rapidly rising share of deaths in developing countries. In addition to their effect on mortality, these conditions have an enormous impact on disability, quality of life, health care costs, and lost productivity, and are also a major contributor to health disparities. The certificate is designed to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to address a broad range of challenges posed by these conditions, including identification of their causes; design, implementation and evaluation of programs to prevent their occurrence, and also to extend life and improve quality of life once they occur; and organization of the medical care system so that it focuses first on prevention, and also provides access to high-quality and efficient treatment and management.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Identify the major known determinants of chronic disease and their distribution by country, community, and key demographic characteristics.
  • Assess how the organization, delivery, and financing of health services in the US and globally influence the provision of health care aimed at the prevention, management, and treatment of chronic disease.
  • Analyze the factors that influence public health’s approach to addressing chronic disease, including health impact; availability of health data; political, economic, and cultural influences; and feasibility.
  • Apply systematic approaches to develop, implement, and evaluate programs to prevent the occurrence of chronic disease and to improve quality of life for persons with these conditions.
  • Demonstrate professional knowledge and skills in chronic disease for effective practice in the selected functional certificate.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Describe health challenges faced at global, national, regional, and community levels, including major causes of morbidity and mortality, and context-specific reasons for geographic variation in population health and well-being;
  • Analyze a health system and its component elements in order to examine performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and compare it to health systems in other countries;
  • Explain the ways in which culture, social norms and institutions, laws, gender, economic status, access to education and health care, and other factors influence health;
  • Conduct a situation analysis across a range of cultural, economic, and health contexts;
  • Demonstrate ability to access, summarize, synthesize, analyze, and communicate background information and public health evidence.

Infectious diseases are responsible for a significant global burden of disease that disproportionately affects vulnerable populations worldwide. This certificate provides students with the foundation to collect and analyze data to identify agent, host, and environmental (physical, social, behavioral, cultural, economic, political) factors contributing to the cause and spread of infectious diseases. Students will be prepared to design contextually appropriate interventions for infectious disease prevention, control, and elimination.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Collect and analyze data to describe agent, host, and environmental factors contributing to the causation and spread of infectious diseases.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate methodologies to study infectious diseases including diagnostic and environmental testing, surveillance systems, and epidemiologic study designs.
  • Discuss key public health prevention and control activities for major categories of diseases including diarrheal diseases, respiratory diseases, vector-borne diseases, foodborne and waterborne diseases, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Design resource setting and socio-culturally appropriate interventions for infectious disease prevention and control; effectively communicate recommendations in both technical and non-technical terms.
  • Critically assess the infectious disease academic literature, analyzing the strength and validity of the hypothesis, study design and methods, results, conclusions, and public health significance of primary research studies.

Assuring that women, their partners, children, and adolescents are healthy and thriving is central to the public health mission throughout the world. This certificate expands knowledge and skills needed to understand the complex biologic, social, and systems-related determinants of key maternal and child health (MCH) challenges (such as infant and maternal mortality, reproductive justice, and youth development), evaluate MCH research, and critically assess and implement programs, policies, and advocacy strategies to achieve equity across MCH populations.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Apply a life course framework, combining knowledge of human development and the cumulative impact of social and biologic determinants of health.
  • Illustrate how key international and/or national and community-level organizations and systems promote and impede women’s, reproductive, child, and adolescent health.
  • Critically evaluate latest innovations created to meet MCH challenges of the 21st century in resource-rich and resource-poor countries and communities.
  • Analyze MCH-related research and communicate key findings and their significance to public health practice in non-technical terms.
  • Apply functional area competencies to a selected MCH population or health domain.

This certificate provides foundational training in the conceptual frameworks, knowledge, and technical skills necessary to understand how mental illness and substance use disorders develop, are manifested, and treated. Utilizing a multi-determinants, population-based public health perspective, students will develop expertise in assessing, preventing, and reducing mental illness and unhealthy substance use, and in promoting mental health and wellness.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Develop a population-based understanding of mental health and unhealthy substance use, using the life course perspective and multi-level framework that emphasize behavioral, social, and structural antecedents and consequences of mental health and substance use.
  • Evaluate empirical evidence to describe the burden of mental illness and substance use on individuals, families, communities, and society.
  • Apply theories and evaluate empirical evidence on the social determinants of mental health and illness.
  • Develop skills in the design, implementation, and evaluation of prevention and harm reduction strategies that address mental health and substance use.
  • Propose strategies for promoting mental wellness, building resilience, and supporting substance use recovery in medical and community settings.

Nearly every public health program relies on pharmaceuticals to achieve its goals—from treating infectious diseases to managing preventive and chronic care. This certificate is one of the world’s few programs examining the intersection of public health and the pharmaceutical sector. Students will gain skills in pharmaceutical development, delivery, and policy. Students will be able to effectively translate their knowledge and skills into rapidly growing public health, pharmaceutical, and medical technology markets.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Communicate the role of pharmaceuticals as public health tools for prevention and treatment of acute and chronic diseases.
  • Examine critical steps in research and development of pharmaceuticals, including clinical trials and market dynamics.
  • Analyze the performance of the pharmaceutical sector using key indicators.
  • Demonstrate the ability to access and use data related to the financing, procurement, distribution and use of pharmaceuticals in order to propose solutions to domestic and international pharmaceutical challenges.
  • Apply a multi-disciplinary systems approach to analyzing the overlapping roles of the public and private sectors in pharmaceutical policy including innovation, intellectual property and medicines regulation.

Inequality and discrimination related to gender and sexuality are major barriers to the attainment of health. Using behavioral and social science theory and methods as well as human rights and social justice frameworks, students will gain analytical, program, and policy skills to understand and address the behavioral, structural, and social determinants of gender inequality and their impacts on individual, community, and population health.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Identify the determinants of health and disease related to gender, gender identity, and sexuality.
  • Apply conceptual frameworks related to gender inequality, sexuality, and gender identity in order to address health challenges and support the health and social well-being of women, men and youth, including those who are marginalized and disadvantaged.
  • Demonstrate the ability to access and use data to estimate the burden and patterns of disease and solve public health problems related to sex, sexuality, and gender.
  • Use systematic approaches to develop, implement, evaluate, and advocate for gender and sexual and reproductive health policies, programs, or services.
  • Make programmatic and policy decisions that reflect ethical frameworks and respect for the values, beliefs, and practices regarding sexual health and rights within diverse communities and cultures.

Health is strongly affected by racism, sexism, poverty, violence, and discrimination. Consequently, public health strategies that promote human rights and social justice are needed to empower vulnerable and marginalized populations, including the elderly and immigrants, to improve their health and well-being. This certificate equips students to engage communities at the local, state, country, and global levels to address critical public health problems in a human rights framework.

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

  • Apply principles of human rights and social justice to analyze public health problems, and to inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of national and international public health policies and programs.
  • Analyze public health problems and solutions to foster social justice and human rights.
  • Use the principles of human rights and social justice to address inequalities and disparities that continue to plague public health programs.
  • Develop strategies for human rights and social justice advocacy in public health policy and program planning.
  • Describe the roles of history, power, privilege, and structural inequality in producing health disparities.

Master of Science (MS)

By the end of the program, students will have the knowledge, skills, and professional confidence to:

  • Apply the statistical methods commonly used in biomedical research, including:
    • Analysis of variance
    • Linear regression, logistic regression, and log-linear models
    • Survival Analysis
    • Mixed models and analysis of correlated data
    • Bayesian Analysis
    • Statistical computing
    • Analysis of observational studies
  • Apply basic principles and methods to design, plan, conduct, and interpret biomedical studies in:
    • Clinical trials
    • Observational studies
    • Big genomic and genetics data
  • Provide effective biostatistical advice as a member of a team with strong:
    • Consultancy skills
    • Oral and written communication skills

Upon completing the requirements for the MS in Environmental Health Data Analytics, graduates are able to:

  • Develop skills in environmental health analytical methodology:
    • Manage and analyze exposure assessment data.
    • Use medical and toxicological databases to identify data and information that informs understanding of exposure and risks of exposure.
    • Analyze data used in and evaluate the conclusions of risk assessments.
    • Apply geographical and/or epidemiological approaches to environmental health analyses.
  • Develop analytical skills used in environmental health decision-making and policy analysis:
    • Apply multiple analytical approaches to help inform strategies to improve public health through environmental interventions.
    • Communicate technical content to multiple stakeholders in written and oral form.

By the end of the program, students in the program will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Develop a scientific hypothesis, beginning with a review of existing literature, and design an epidemiologic study to assess the hypothesis validly and efficiently.
  • Design and implement data collection and management tools for epidemiologic research.
  • Analyze a complex epidemiologic data set using at least one computer-aided tool.
  • Communicate the results of research both orally and in writing.
  • Critically evaluate research reports and publications.

Upon completing the requirements for the degree, graduates are able to:

  • Identify key factors in the context of health and health care systems, institutions, stakeholders, and environment that have the potential to influence the structure, provision, and use of health services.
    • Analyze the role and effects of health policy in shaping the health systems and services being investigated.
    • Compare the contributions (and limitations) of conceptual models of health systems and services, and choose relevant conceptual models to support study topics.
    • Develop relevant and important research questions, grounded in critical and analytical reviews of the literature.
    • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of possible study designs that can appropriately address health systems and services research questions.
    • Apply research methods that are appropriate to questions of interest, specifying study constructs, research questions, and appropriate approaches to data collection and analysis, with particular expertise in either quantitative or qualitative approaches.
    • Apply project and financial management tools to the conduct of research projects, ensuring that they remain on schedule and within resources constraints.
    • Develop, document, and employ procedures that ensure the reproducibility of the science, the responsible use of resources, mutual accountability with collaborators, and the ethical treatment of research subjects.
    • Work collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams to carry out research and to effectively communicate research results.
    • Develop a research question, and identify and systematically analyze either existing literature and/or data that informs the question, and write a coherent and concise paper reporting the findings that is suitable for publication in a relevant journal.

By the end of the MS in Public Health Nutrition, graduates will be able to:

  • Articulate the determinants of public health nutrition challenges utilizing multi-level and life-course perspectives.
  • Critically analyze and synthesize research findings to inform evidence-based nutrition policies and recommendations for future research.
  • Demonstrate communication skills required to advocate for sustainable and scalable food systems and nutrition programs that are responsive to dynamic social, environmental, political, and economic contexts.
  • Investigate the public health impacts of food systems and policies.
  • Apply methodological skills needed to plan, conduct, critique, and use evaluation research to promote public health nutrition activities at the community and population levels.

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Upon completion of the DrPH, graduates possess many competencies, shown here by category:

  • Analyze the impact of legislation, judicial opinions, regulations, and policies on population health.
  • Develop evidence-based strategies for changing health law and policy.
  • Utilize consensus-building, negotiation, and conflict avoidance and resolution techniques.

  • Develop informational and persuasive communications.
  • Employ evidence-based communication program models for disseminating research and evaluation outcomes.
  • Explain program proposals and evaluations to lay, professional, and policy audiences.

  • Apply research from anthropology, psychology, history, demography, sociology, and social epidemiology in national and international contexts.
  • Develop collaborative partnerships with communities, policy makers, and other relevant groups.
  • Assess cultural, environmental, and social justice influences on the health of communities.

  • Interpret quantitative and qualitative data following current scientific standards and apply theoretical and evidence-based perspectives from multiple disciplines in the design and implementation of programs, policies, and systems.
  • Synthesize information from multiple sources for research and practice and evaluate the performance and impact of health programs, policies, and systems.
  • Identify and navigate the secondary data sources available for use at the regional and community levels internationally and in the US and understand and apply meta-analysis to evaluate policies, especially in situations involving inconsistent or limited data.

  • Create a shared vision and articulate this vision to diverse groups, stakeholders, and other professional collaborators to achieve high standards of performance and accountability.
  • Develop skilled teams and capacity-building strategies at the individual, organizational, and community level.
  • Guide organizational decision-making and planning based on internal and external environmental research.

  • Implement strategic planning processes.
  • Evaluate organizational performance in relation to strategic and defined goals.
  • Organize the work environment with defined lines of responsibility, authority, communication, and governance and develop financial and business plans for health programs and services.

  • Apply relevant ethical, legal, and human rights principles to difficult and controversial public health policy decisions while demonstrating a commitment to personal and professional values.
  • Articulate the major ethical, legal, and human rights principles relevant to public health policy making, both in the US and internationally.
  • Design strategies for resolving ethical concerns in research, law, and regulations.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The training program provides knowledge, experience, and training in core disciplines to allow for critical thinking in research design, interpretation, and translation.

Upon completing the PhD in Environmental Health, students are able to:

  • Communicate the basic characteristics of major chemical, physical, and biological hazards and the properties that govern the hazards’ behavior in the environment;
  • Explain the scientific characteristics (e.g., route of exposure, dose response, mode of action) of major chemical, physical, and biological hazards that result in human health risk;
  • Explain and analyze genetic, physiologic, and social factors that affect the susceptibility to adverse health outcomes following exposure to environmental hazards;
  • Critically evaluate and interpret the hypothesis, experimental design, methods, and results presented in a paper from a technical journal article in an environmental health discipline (toxicology, epidemiology, exposure assessment, environmental policy);
  • Identify data gaps and formulate testable hypotheses about critical questions in environmental health (epidemiology, toxicology, exposure assessment, environmental policy);
  • Design and implement data collection strategies and rigorous evaluations to test hypotheses using novel or current techniques;
  • Analyze and interpret environmental health data;
  • Identify appropriate intervention strategies for specific environmental health problems;
  • Prepare scientific manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals in the field of environmental health; and
  • Communicate scientific results at national and/or international conferences in the field of environmental health.

The PhD program provides advanced professional training in epidemiology to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for leadership in epidemiologic research and methodology.

Upon completing the requirements for the PhD in Epidemiology, graduates are able to:

  • Formulate research hypotheses that can be evaluated through empirical epidemiological investigation.
  • Critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of epidemiologic study designs applied to particular etiologic associations.
  • Analyze and interpret epidemiologic studies using appropriate methods.
  • Explain the theoretical underpinnings of epidemiology, including new and traditional study designs.
  • Demonstrate understanding of sources of bias and approaches to evaluating and controlling bias.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in data collection, data analysis, and written summaries of statistical analyses.
  • Demonstrate expertise in at least one substantive area of epidemiology and apply that expertise to preparation of the dissertation proposal.
  • Perform all the steps of conducting a hypothesis-driven epidemiologic study, from developing hypotheses, to designing, analyzing, and interpreting results, to writing up findings in the form of a publication-quality manuscript; as demonstrated by the PhD dissertation, which requires three manuscripts judged to be suitable for publication.

Upon completion of the PhD in Health Services Research, the graduate is able to:

  • Identify key factors in the context of health and health care systems, institutions, actors, and environment that have the potential to influence provision and use of health services. These may include policy, organization and financing of healthcare services. They may also include social disparities and determinants that may affect access, as well as factors such as biology, behavior and culture that may influence individual health and the use of services.
  • Examine, critique, modify, and develop theory-based conceptual models of health services use. Identify and examine the use of theoretical perspectives derived from foundational fields that provide rationales for both HSR study topics and conceptual approaches to them. These fields can include anthropology, demography, economics, epidemiology, management, organizational science, political science, psychology and/or economics.
  • Develop original, relevant and important research questions to pursue in HSR that are grounded in both a critical analysis of prior HSR literature and relevant theoretical perspectives.
  • Identify and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of possible study designs that can appropriately address specific health services research questions. Methods include interventional, comparative and observational approaches; qualitative and quantitative approaches; and are derived from foundational health services fields and different types and sources of data.
  • Based on relevant theory/concepts and the research question(s) at hand, develop and apply a health services research design, specifying study constructs, research objectives and hypotheses and utilize methods that reliably and validly measure these constructs and outcomes of interest. Select optimal methodological approach, in combination as necessary, to answering key health services research questions.
  • Identify appropriate data collection strategies to answer research questions. Collect and manage primary health and healthcare utilization data and/or assemble and manage existing data from public and private data sources in accordance with research design.
  • Choose and apply a range of appropriate analytical techniques to data in order to explore various types of HSR questions. Utilize appropriate combination of analytic techniques to deepen data analysis and interpretation.
  • Develop, document and employ procedures that ensure the reproducibility of the science, the responsible use of resources, mutual accountability with collaborators, and the ethical treatment of research subjects.
  • Work collaboratively in teams within and across disciplines to develop and disseminate HSR knowledge; assembling and leading teams with the necessary combinations of knowledge and expertise.
  • Effectively communicate the process, findings, and implications of health services research via multiple modes, including via peer-reviewed publications, oral presentations and via technology. Be able to communicate findings to multiple stakeholders and audiences including funders, research participants, colleagues, policy-makers and managers.

Graduate Certificates

The certificate program in Modern Biostatistics in Clinical Trials is designed for students who want to become familiar with a variety of types of clinical trial designs and data, including traditional, Bayesian, and adaptive designs, as well as FDA regulations, ethics analysis, and reporting for clinical trials.

Upon completion of the Modern Biostatistics in Clinical Trials graduate certificate, the graduate is able to:

  • Apply principles of good design, conduct, and monitoring of clinical trials.
  • Identify optimal and practically feasible study designs for given hypotheses and calculate the parameters (e.g., sample size, power) corresponding to the design.
  • Analyze clinical trial data; interpret and communicate analysis results in both technical and nontechnical terms through written and oral presentation.

The Statistical Genetics certificate program will provide students with specialized training and acquisition of skills in the analysis of genetic data. Individuals completing the program will be familiar with a variety of types of genetic data (genotyping, expression, sequence data) as well as statistical methods for data summary and analysis, with an emphasis on analysis relating genetic information to human health outcomes.

Upon completion of the Statistical Genetics graduate certificate, the graduate is able to:

  • Analyze data from genetics and genomics studies using statistical programming software and genetic analysis software.
  • Identify potential sources of bias and confounding in family, population-based, and case-control study designs for genetic and genomic studies, and develop analytic and design strategies to minimize these effects.
  • Interpret and communicate the results and limitations of statistical analyses of genetic and genomic data in both technical and nontechnical terms.

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health provides professionals with the foundation for public health knowledge and skills, in order to enhance their career or integrate public health principles into other educational paths. The program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Public Health, students will be able to:

  • Identify the determinants of health and disease.
  • Demonstrate the ability to access and use data to address public health problems.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.
  • Use systematic approaches to develop, implement, and evaluate public health policies, programs, or services.
  • Apply ethical and legal principles to public health policy.
  • Incorporate perspectives of diverse groups and communities.